Joyful cheers and laughter echoed across South Jersey just past noon on Friday, March 16, as graduating students from Rowan University’s two medical schools learned the most exciting news of their budding careers – the hospitals and medical centers where they will continue training in their chosen specialties.
Held annually on the third Friday of March, Match Day is one the most exciting and eagerly anticipated days of the academic year. During that traditional midday celebration, graduating medical students across America simultaneously tear open thin, sealed envelopes to learn the destinations that await them as they begin their careers as physicians.
A record number of more than 37,100 applicants participated in this year’s National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) event, vying to secure one of 33,167 positions, the most ever offered on Match Day. At Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU), 73 graduating medical students, surrounded by their loved ones, met at the Camden school and counted down the final few seconds until the signal to open their envelopes.
A short distance away, at The Mansion on Main Street in Voorhees, 86 graduating medical students from the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) celebrated Match Day along with family, friends and 54 fellow students who had either “matched” a month earlier thru the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Match or through their enlistment in the U.S. military.
“Match Day is one of the most important and memorable events of a physician’s career,” explained Dr. Annette C. Reboli, Dean of CMSRU. “This is only our third class of graduates at CMSRU, but I’m proud to say that, given the intense competition for residency spots nationally, our students did exceptionally well.”
While, nationally, just over 91 percent of applicants matched through the NRMP, Rowan University students fared much better. More than 97 percent of the Rowan medical students applying through the NRMP or AOA programs matched to a specialty of their choice, including several students who matched to Ivy League or other nationally prominent programs. Half of the students matched to primary care residencies, including 76 who will continue their training at New Jersey based residencies.
“These tremendous results will help to answer a critical need in our state,” said Dr. Thomas A. Cavalieri, Dean of RowanSOM. “We are facing an imminent physician shortage here and across the country, with particularly acute demand for primary care physicians. Because physicians are highly likely to practice in the same area as their residency, adding nearly 80 new residents to our state’s resources bodes well for our efforts to ease the impact of the physician shortage New Jersey is currently facing.”
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